INDIANAPOLIS--University of Washington multi-event specialist Jeremy Taiwo (Illustration created by Paul Merca using PicStitch; photos courtesy University of Washington) received one more national honor Wednesday, as he was named by USA Track & Field as its athlete of the week for his brief world leading score of 6156 points in the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge meet in Nampa, Idaho over the weekend, highlighted by a world heptathlon record in the high jump of 7-4 1/2 (2.25m).
The Renton native's mark is the fifth-best in NCAA history, and puts him as the third-best NCAA performer only behind Olympic gold and silver medalists Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee. The score is also the current US leading mark, facility record and school record.
Taiwo did not compete for 19 months after the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. At that event he managed to finish 15th in the decathlon, in spite of competing with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Since then he underwent Tommy John surgery and has made a full recovery.
He also underwent surgery on his hips to correct osteitis pubis.
“It is honestly the biggest 180 ever,” Taiwo said to USATF's Katie Branham. “When I was going through everything last year, I was just telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and tried to stay positive.”
Taiwo is the first UW athlete to win the weekly honor from USATF, which honors youth, high school, collegiate, professional, and masters athletes.
NOTE: USA Track & Field contributed to this report.